The Flames will look to continue their winning streak against the Red Wings when Daniel Alfredsson and company visit the Saddledome tonight. Calgary won all three games versus their former conference rivals in the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season, and now that Detroit has relocated to the the East and the two teams play each other just twice this season, those potential points become even more valuable for both teams.
The Red Wings have not exactly been ripping it up in the Eastern Conference so far this season. Wednesday's 2-1 win over the Vancouver Canucks was their first in five games, and they've been struggling with a spate of injuries which has seen Johan Franzen, Jonathan Ericsson and Darren Helm miss time with injuries.
The Flames and Red Wings actually have a pretty similar stat line so far--both are averaging about 30 shots per game and 30+ against, although the Wings have allowed almost a full goal less per game than the Flames have thus far while also scoring less than Calgary. The Flames followed up their strong performance against the Capitals on Friday with 43 shots on goal against Toronto on Wednesday night, although they still lost by a score of 4-2. If they continue to fire that many shots on goal and exploit teams that allow a lot of shots, however, that should change. However Wings goalie Jimmy Howard, who has had an SV% of .950 and .925 in his past two games respectively, might disagree.
Perhaps the most interesting thing about tonight's game is the fact that the Flames will wear their new third jersey for the first time tonight. I'll be at the game so I will be able to deliver a first-hand report of what it looks like in person. Oh, and Mikael Backlund returns to the lineup after being inexplicably scratched ahead of the Flames' game against the Leafs, albeit on the fourth line. Sigh.
Projected Lines and Pairings:
Red Wings (via WIIM):
Joey MacDonald gets the start in net tonight against his former team.